With the euphoria surrounding the completion of Crossrail’s running tunnels and the subsequent dismantling of the TBMs it is easy to forget that there is an awful lot of civil engineering construction work still to be done on the project. In this article we look at the current state of work at Paddington Crossrail station.

Building large, underground stations in central London is always a difficult task. This is certainly true on Crossrail, the stations for which are generally being built to a scale not seen before in London. Even amongst these, however, Crossrail Paddington stands apart. For it has been constructed in a completely different manner from any other station built directly by the project for the new line.

Until the 1980s there was, essentially, only one way of building a deep level station. This involved the construction of two large tube tunnels for the platforms and the addition of multiple circular or near-circular connecting passages for passenger tunnels, stairs, escalators and lifts.

As civil engineering in general has developed, new techniques have been devised to allow construction on a larger scale. This can clearly been seen above ground in London with a plethora of new tall buildings using construction techniques that just weren’t around forty years ago. Less visible though, for obvious reasons, are similar advances beneath ground level.

Boxing clever

A relatively new technique for building underground stations, very much favoured on the Jubilee Line Extension, is the station box. An enormous rectangular concrete box is dug down from the surface into which all the platforms and other ancillary features are placed. When implemented this becomes a game changer. No longer does a station tend to have a cramped feel and it becomes much easier to install escalators, lifts and ancillary equipment that normally has to be squeezed into the limited space available. A feature typical of a station box is a single wide island platform serving both tracks – ideal as escalators, lifts and more can then conveniently serve all passengers regardless of which direction they are travelling in.

Paddington Box Overview

Overview of Paddington Station Box August 2015

The station box concept is not a panacea and has its limitations. To make use of this technique, it is necessary to acquire all of the land covered by the footprint of the box. It also produces a considerable amount of spoil. Cost can be a further consideration and if you do things on a larger scale it is unlikely to be cheap. This can be seen, for example, at Tooting Broadway on Crossrail 2, where adverse geological conditions would more or less force construction of a station box. This would likely double the cost of constructing the station as well as be much more disruptive for the local community.

A much less obvious problem with station boxes is that of settlement upwards. Despite the huge weight of the concrete sides and the contents, the greater weight of material extracted means that designers have to be careful that the concrete box does not develop a tendency to rise as the forces in the ground push it upward.

It is fairly obvious from the above that station boxes tend to be built on brownfield sites that are expecting substantial development. This was the case at Canary Wharf (Jubilee), Canada Water and North Greenwich. It could hardly be called a brownfield site, but at Canary Wharf (Crossrail) the developers considered it worthwhile to drain the dock in order to create a suitable site. Indeed Paddington Crossrail is to date the only example of a deep-level station box being built in central London, for although the same construction methods are being used at Farringdon, the station platform tunnels there will be “tube” tunnels linking the two separate entrances.

A near golden scenario

Normally when central Crossrail stations are being talked about, the constricted nature of the sites is mentioned. Even though the site at Tottenham Court Road may look large it is in fact, by construction standards, quite small and had to accommodate an awful lot of carefully sequenced concurrent activity.

At Paddington a combination of fortuitous circumstances made a station box both possible and desirable. The first of these, and by far the biggest factor, was that the space could be made available. Along the length of Paddington main line station is Eastbourne Terrace, a relatively wide road that was long, straight and – most importantly – not really a primary road. It is hard to imagine a better opportunity next to a main line terminus. Furthermore, almost miraculously, the site was unhampered by the four Underground lines that serve Paddington and also the Post Office Railway whose mothballed tunnels are nearby.

Things got better still as the main line station that Crossrail was to serve was already below street level. This meant that the road could be reinstated after the work was done and the connections with the main line station would not be in conflict with other activity on the surface. The fact that it was serving a main line station meant that the expense of the station box could also be justified by the projected passenger numbers.

What may well have been the icing on the cake for a station box was that the main location for removing spoil from the Crossrail tunnels by rail transfer was located about a mile away. Removing the spoil meant that there were up to 90 lorry movements per night. The short distance to the unloading area at Old Oak meant that multiple trips by one lorry could be made and its location, between a main line railway and a road that is an urban motorway in all but name, was one where there would hardly be an issue with nighttime lorry movements.

Problems before the start

Of course this did not make it a problem-free scenario. One issue was that Eastbourne Terrace was used for taxis to queue to pick up passengers from Paddington. There is quite a substantial demand for taxis at Paddington and it was not going to be simply a case of uprooting the pole indicating where to wait and relocating it in another side street. The issue of where to relocate the taxi queue was quite a challenge and the new location for the taxi rank is a substantial purpose-built affair that we have already covered in a separate article.

The issue of relocating the taxis was to exacerbate a problem that was already present. Ideally one builds the station tunnel first and then, on arrival, the Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) are transported from one end to the other. On Crossrail that saves around 250 metres of boring for each of the two running tunnels. It is also very useful as it gives an opportunity for the TBMs to be stopped and serviced – one of the cardinal rules of tunnelling is that, as much as possible, once you start tunnelling you keep going. Clearly getting the station box in a state that it would be ready to receive a TBM was not going to be possible so the alternative was to construct the running tunnel first then break through the newly installed tunnel rings afterwards.

A further problem was that an awful lot of other construction activity, largely unrelated, was taking place at Paddington. Roofs were being refurbished on the main line station and the Hammersmith & City station was being rebuilt. Ownership demarcation lines didn’t naturally align with logical construction demarcation lines. A co-ordinated programme was also essential to avoid other issues like conflicting lorry routes and to ensure that pedestrian routes were kept open. This was known as the Paddington Integrated Project.

The other inevitable problem was that underneath roads one tends to have an awful lot of services. One of the advantages of deep tunnels is that they avoid the difficulty of moving these services but, in the case of station boxes, one encounters the same problem that the original builders of the Metropolitan Railway had just yards from the site. The services in Eastbourne Terrace were relocated under the pavement of the south west side of the road – a process that took two years.

Why so Big?

Despite the opportunity there remains a need to ask whether the box method was financially beneficial, given a more conventionally built station would be able to achieve something quite adequate for lower cost. One critical element, however, made it worthwhile – fans.


Architect’s overview showing emergency evacuation staircases at each end of the station

Paddington station is a major site for managing air-flow – especially in the event of emergency. Even in normal conditions one has to bear in mind that the trains will have air-conditioning, so the tunnels are liable to get very hot in summer unless something is done to get rid of the heat. The enormous fans that will be located there will work in tandem with similar enormous fans at Farringdon to control the air in the tunnels. Associated with the fans are separate emergency access shafts that will be guaranteed to have air as fresh as the streets outside in the event of fire – very useful for emergency safe evacuation or as an access route for firefighters.

It is probably worth bearing in mind that, whether there was a station or not at Paddington, the enormous fans would still be necessary and really ought to be considered a tunnelling cost rather than a station cost. When this is taken into account the station box was probably actually the cheapest option.

The situation today

Fast forwarding to the present, the box has been built. This involved a full closure of Eastbourne Terrace whilst the major work was carried out and even now there are currently just two lanes. The road is also restricted to buses.

Plunge Column

Top of a temporary plunge column that will be a challenge to remove

This doesn’t mean work is nearly complete and there is much still to do. One of the major tasks coming to completion is to remove the “plunge columns”. These are the vertical metal beams that were necessary to hold up the roof covering on which the reopened Eastbourne Terrace now sits. Some are needed permanently and these have now been given a concrete pillar surround but many are temporary. Of these some can be cut away in one piece and lifted by crane onto a low-loader while others have to be cut away at the base into pieces, with the column being lowered between cuts. It is a major job but one that has been taken into account in the planning process. It is also a job that sometimes means it is necessary to close Eastbourne Terrace over a weekend.

At track level

A photo taken at track level that completely fails to show the length of the station

What is also difficult to grasp is the sheer size of the station box. Platformless, and without any platform edge doors to reduce the width, the sheer size is tricky to comprehend. Unfortunately, due to the amount of construction (and deconstruction) work going on it is not easy to convey this in a picture as it becomes almost impossible to get more than a glimpse of the far end when in the vicinity of the tunnel eyes.

Tunnel eyes

The tunnel eyes themselves are a truly impressive feature. It is not often that one is presented with a chance to look at a Crossrail running tunnel without actually being in it. On a lighter note, each tunnel eye is boarded off except for what looks like a small door. One almost expects to see a large bottle nearby with a label attached and the words “Drink Me” on the label.


The tunnel eyes before construction work proper began

Small door in tunnel

Beyond the tunnel eye today

A station box is, by necessity, built using a “top down” approach. Basically one digs down as far as it is safe to do so then builds the side walls. The process is repeated many times with the existing side walls being underpinned at each stage. Obviously, this process cannot be continued when one gets to the location of the tunnel eyes in quite the same way so these were done last. In recent weeks the concrete around the tunnel eyes, 0.6m thick, has been poured into some incredibly substantial shuttering to complete the job. The amount of steel reinforcement in place just for this task gives some idea of the volumes of steel reinforcement that is necessary at sites like this.

Adding reinforcement to tunnel eye wall

Reinforcing the wall around the tunnel eye

Fitting Out

“Fitting Out” does not sound like a big task but with a station box 260m long and on multiple levels this is not a trivial matter. Even building the platforms is a major project involving more concrete pouring. Rectangular spaces are left at regular intervals as below the platforms will be some space for installing plant and these will need to be able to be accessed from the track.

Reinforcing bars for platform wall

Preparation for building platform wall

One thing that is going to be very different from the deep level tube is the distance from the platform surface to the running rails. By the time the base is taken into account it is clear that the platform wall adjacent to the track is going to be taller than the average person.

Test structure for platform edge doors

Test structure for Platform Edge Door construction

An ongoing challenge is that many of the tasks still to be executed will need to be done on a massive scale. Just tiling the platform floor or installing the platform edge doors over a length of half a kilometre (250m per platform) is going to be a major logistical task. A nine car train with three doors per car means 27 pairs of platform edge doors per platform. Even at this early stage, the methodology for installing the platform edge doors is being checked and verified. A very small section of ceiling mounted frame has already been installed.


Concrete lampshades

Concrete “lampshades”

Lighting is a major consideration these days when designing a station. The Jubilee Line Extension pioneered the idea in London of using natural light when possible. This has been a fundamental part of the design at Paddington, but with platforms around 20m below the surface artificial light will also be necessary even in day time. To this end the lighting has been designed to take advantage of the concrete ceiling, but this means that there will be a lot of light fittings to install. The result should be very pleasing with the transition from natural light to artificial light scarcely noticeable. This success or otherwise will partly depend on the quality and suitability of the concrete for the specific task in hand. In general, throughout Crossrail, the quality of concrete is very high and it is tailored to the specific purpose it is being used for. In this particular case a very smooth shiny finish is absolutely essential.


Architect’s impression showing relationship between natural and artificial lighting

Stand clear! Slow train approaching

Obstructed route for MPG

All this will have to be clear before the Multipurpose Gantries can pass through the station

If fitting out was not enough of a challenge, the site’s organisers also need to bear in mind that any of the Multi-purpose gantries (MPGs) – basically a factory on wheels for various tasks such as tracklaying, concreting sleepers in, installing electric cabling including the overhead rigid power rail – need to be able to get through the station box on their way from Westbourne Park to Farringdon. Because these MPGs are too large to get through the crossover at Fisher Street, both platforms need to be clear to enable their progress. The logistics for this have not yet been finalised but with some of the fleet already delivered and one of the temporary logistics centres for this at nearby Westbourne Park, it will probably not be long before a clear passage through the tunnels and the station box is going to be necessary.

Deeper Still

Although the station box is around 20m deep it does not end there. In the original plans for Paddington there was to be a link to the Bakerloo line just below the surface of the concourse area of Paddington main line station. Further investigation of the ground and structures above it meant that this was not a viable option and so an alternative plan had to be put in place.

The alternative plan was to go very much deeper so that you went down from platform level at Paddington Crossrail into a cross passage that was around 100m long and ended underneath the area between the platforms of the Bakerloo line. This would enable it to come up to the area at the foot of the escalators that lead down to the Bakerloo platform.

Entrance to future Bakerloo Line Link tunnel

Future entrance to Bakerloo Line Link

Because it was not part of the plan that was incorporated into the Crossrail Act, the deep level Bakerloo line link was subject to a Transport and Works Act Order with all the delay that entails. For this reason there was, at one stage, concern that it would not be ready in time. Nevertheless, construction of the Bakerloo Line Link is now underway and it is due to finish well before December 2018 when Paddington Crossrail station opens.

Former Royal Mail Building London Street

An unlikely Crossrail construction site

The bulk of the work for the Bakerloo Line Link is, in fact, not part of Crossrail but a London Underground project. Despite this it is being presented as a Crossrail project. Very fortuitously a worksite became available in a former Royal Mail sorting office in nearby London Street. This must rank as one of the most boring Crossrail worksites from the outside. Apart from the Crossrail signs there is little to indicate that this is anything other than an ordinary building being used in a perfectly ordinary way. The worksite will involve tunnelling that will not be used as part of the passageway. This work will probably not be wasted as, if a local development goes ahead, it will be incorporated into another entrance to the Bakerloo line at Paddington.

The Paddington Integrated Plan starts to disintegrate

Earlier on it was mentioned that work at Paddington was treated as an integrated project. With the coming of the Bakerloo Line Link this is starting to no longer be the case. The shell of the Bakerloo Line Link within the station box has been completed and, regardless of what the signs portray, it is the job of London Underground to complete the passages on the other side of the temporary concrete wall signifying the demarcation line.

The station box is one combined worksite at present but eventually the day will come when it gets handed over to its new owners. Network Rail, being in charge of the running tunnels, will be in charge of the fans and TfL Rail will take ownership of the new Crossrail station, but there will be further demarcation lines added to Network Rail’s station concourse and, of course, London Underground.

It will be interesting to see if TfL has a scheme similar to their in-house One Liverpool Street concept. The goal of One Liverpool Street is to integrate station operations as much as possible and, as far as the customer is concerned, create a single concern. Most of it is about training the staff to be familar with all the services offered and the station and not to restrict them to their own area of responsibility.

So much to do, so little time to do it in

We are now just three years away from Crossrail opening in central London. The final year is devoted to systems integration testing with, it is believed, the final three months devoted to test running of trains. So really, all the stations and the railway should, ideally, be completed in around two years. Crossrail has stuck to its schedule so far and there is no reason to believe that they will not continue to do so. Nevertheless there is still an awful lot to do at the stations, and Paddington is no exception.

Thanks to Andrew Dempsey at Crossrail for arranging the site visit and Pete Jarman for showing us around

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There are 91 comments on this article
  1. RM says:

    Bond Street ticket halls are both constructed the same way and then connected to the platforms and circulation spaces that are traditional tunnel construction

  2. RichardB says:

    PoP I do have one query. You explain that with the Crossrail rolling stock consisting of nine coaches each with 3 doors that means each platform has to have 27 platform edge doors (PEDs) fitted. However that seems to ignore the long term plan to extend the trains by a further two 23 metre long coaches which will require a further six PEDs per platform. Is it intended to only fit 27 PEDs per platform and add the additional ones should the trains be extended? If so it means any decision to lengthen the trains will be disproportionately expensive and time consuming as I assume all the other underground stations will require additional PEDs.

  3. timbeau says:

    Surely the idea of digging down to build a station below ground level is not that new? Apart from the materials – the retaining walls are brick, not concrete – how were Euston Square, Great Portland Street and Baker Street built for example?

  4. ngh says:

    Re Richard,

    The explanation I heard a very long time ago was that the extra (now 6) portals would be installed initially but not have working doors fitted but these could be fitted quickly and easily later when needed. This may have changed of course…

  5. Will says:

    Timbeau, the stations you mention (Euston Square, Great Portland Street and Baker Street) are not deep-level stations. Of course a cut-and-cover line will use cut-and-cover stations, but what’s (relatively) new is having cut-and-cover stations right down to platform level on a deep-level line.

  6. 100andthirty says:

    Deep box stations may be unusual in London but not elsewhere. I recently visited an underground station under construction in Amsterdam, that, arguably, makes any London ground conditions look like a walk in the park. It was as deep as Paddington but not as long (6-car Alstom Metropolis trains are intended). This one had an entrance with a single flight of escalators at each end of the box, with a 5-level underground car park in between. It’s on the site of a canal which has now been truncated.

    Even earlier (about 40 years) I visited the site of Chatelet-Les Halles in Paris when RER line A was being built; it was, by far, the biggest man made hole I’ve ever seen!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Aren’t one of the forces pushing station boxes upwards the water table, as effectively you have built a large concrete boat, so the whole thing has to be anchored into the ground.

  8. Malcolm says:

    @Anonymous at 19:04: It is of course normal practice to anchor any construction into the ground; if you don’t, they mostly tend to fall over! However, you are right to mention what would happen to a large rigid air-filled space if it was not properly anchored, and this tendency to rise (rather than fall over, or sink) is important for the detailed design of the “anchoring”.

  9. Al__S says:

    For a truly giant station box look to Stratford International- over a kilometre long and about 55m wide.

  10. Philip says:

    @Anonymous, There are two mechanisms pushing the box out of the ground. When the soil was laid down it squashed the soil beneath it and, if the station box weighs less than the removed soil this will now be “rebounding”. This effect at Paddington should be small, as the weight of the soil and the box are nothing compared to the glaciers that once sat on this site and squashed everything.
    The other mechanism is when the box is sitting in wet soil and the water pressure causes the box to float to the surface like a boat. Canary Wharf’s crossrail box is in such soft, wet ground (I think it’s built in a dock) that it has huge piles beneath it trying to mobilise enough friction with the soil to stop it bobbing to the surface. This shouldn’t be as bad at Paddington, but I’d still be interested to know what the foundations are, so off into the web I go.

  11. 100andthirty says:

    Anonymous. Keeping Canary Wharf JLE station in place was a major consideration. When it was built, what looked like giant’s Rawl Plugs were inserted into the ground beneath the box to hold it down. These plugs looked like long concrete cones where the largest diameter was at the bottom.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the comments about the water, I remember when they demolished the existing structure to build the Shard, someone said that they monitored ground movement because the ‘weight’ of that building had been removed in relation to the remaining structures.

  13. Greg Tingey says:

    Another deep-box that was pretty large was the deep-level modification to Antwerpen Centraal.
    Very impressive

  14. Anonymous says:

    Interesting article, puts my loft conversion into perspective.

    Regarding the fans and the emergency tunnel, will there be a pressure differential compared with the running tunnels to keep smoke at bay?

  15. Anonyminibus says:

    Isn’t Westminster Jubilee essentially a box built under existing buildings and very close to Big Ben (I know that’s not the proper name of the tower). This seems to make it rather an exception to principles explained in this very interesting article.

  16. Alan Griffiths says:

    9 December 2015 at 20:15

    “at Paddington …………… the weight of the soil and the box are nothing compared to the glaciers that once sat on this site and squashed everything.”

    I was taught, at an early age, that glaciers came as far south as Finchley.

    It was much later that I speculated that in those days no-one knew how to harness their power to begin tunnelling the Northern Line.

  17. ngh says:

    Re Anonyminibus

    Portcullis House was a new build on top of the Westminster station box – the old buildings were demolished. I can recollect the demolition from a trip into town one school holiday… (Probably timed then so they could make as much noise as they liked without upsetting any MPs across the road!)

  18. Anonymous says:

    Re NGH. From the link ‘The structure also includes Cornish granite and was the last contract to be manufactured at Merrivale Quarry on Dartmoor’. I take it that Cornish granite is a technical name and is not geographically descriptive.

  19. timbeau says:

    @Alan Griffiths
    “glaciers came as far south as Finchley”

    One snout of the glacier was at Coldfall Wood in Finchley,

    but another extended further south, to Hornchurch.

  20. ngh says:

    Re Anon,

    Just the usual quality Id’ expect from Wikipedia [or the average level of geography of MPs put in charge of purchasing 😉 ]

    The Granite formations under Cornwall (circa 50% of Cornwall hence the extensive use of Radon proof DPC in construction there) do extend slightly in to Devon around the Dartmoor NP Area… (and Atlantic in the other direction)
    So probably technical name rather than geographic

  21. Briantist (in Gigabit internet heaven) says:

    Sorry to be picky, but “enormity” means “the full horror of” rather than “enormous”.

    [So it does! You learn something every day. I have changed it. PoP]

  22. timbeau says:

    “Cornish granite is a technical name ”

    Geology is no respecter of political boundaries. The Cornubian batholith has several granite outcrops in the West Country (the remains of a volcanic chain formed, like Hawaii, by movement of the continental mass across an underlying hotspot) stretching from Dartmoor to well beyond the Scillies.

    As most of the outcrops are in Cornwall, the stone is often known generically as “Cornish Granite”,

    as distinct from other granites formed in different geological events such as Galloway

  23. Anonymous The First says:


    A quibble- Coldfall Wood is in Muswell Hill, Haringey!

  24. timbeau says:

    @Anon I
    “Coldfall Wood is in Muswell Hill”

    @Me, in another context
    “Geology is no respecter of political boundaries”

    So @Alan Griffiths “the glacier came as far south as Finchley”, but the terminal moraines it was bulldozing ahead of it were dumped over the border in Muswell Hill.

  25. SleepDeprived says:

    I can’t believe there is a debate about Coldfall Wood on this site. I think it is fair to say it is about midway between East Finchley and Muswell Hill.

  26. Anomnibus says:


    The rebuilding of Westminster station deserves an article to itself. In the meantime, the one on Wikipedia contains sufficient detail to explain its history and rebuilding. It’s an impressive feat of engineering.

  27. 100andthirty says:

    The incredible thing about Westminster is how little disruption there was to District and Circle services though Westminster whilst a) the tracks were lowered to the deliver required height of Portcullis House and b) the covered cutting in which it ran was converted into a bridge over the massive cavern that became the access to the Jubilee line

  28. Martin Smith says:

    “The road is also restricted to buses.” Does this mean that only buses are allowed to use it or that buses are restricted from using it?

  29. Martin Smith says:


    I can’t find a decent resolution photograph but squinting at the tiny one embedded in this doc:

    shows just how open the Westminster site was in the late 90s.

  30. ngh says:

    Re Martin have a look at the first photo in the article for the answer!

  31. Chris L says:

    A considerable amount of water flows down behind the blue mosaic tiles at North Greenwich.

    The deep trench obviously does have drainage problems.

  32. Anonymous says:

    The taxi rank at Paddington Station was on Departures Road which ran parallel to, but was separate from, Eastbourne Terrace.

  33. Anonymous says:

    “Paddington Crossrail is to date the only example of a station box being built in central London”

    Wasn’t a station box used for the building of the Thameslink station at St Pancras Intl?

  34. Anonyminibus,

    I suppose technically you are correct from an engineer’s perspective and Westminster tube station is a station box. However, it doesn’t entirely feel like a station box. For a start there is no natural light. More significantly the benefit of a station box is that it isn’t cramped and, as I said, a wide island platform is a typical characteristic. At Westminster, the Jubilee line platform are on top of each other, Northern line 1890s style. This is really the antithesis of a spacious station box.

    Anonymous 23:49

    Like Anonyminibus you are probably technically correct and I admit to totally overlooking that one. But I believe the line was originally built by cut and cover techniques (I may be wrong). In any case it is not that deep compared with the “real” examples. All subjective I know. I have sneaked in a “deep-level” into the text in an attempt to disqualify this example.

  35. Anonymous 17:52

    Ah yes, but is the departures road a road in its own right or is it regarded as the departures road on Eastbourne Terrace? In other words is it Departures Road or the departures road?

  36. James says:

    Are station boxes planned for any of the Crossrail 2 stations?

  37. timbeau says:

    ” is it Departures Road or the departures road?”
    The cab road at Waterloo is often referred to in official notices capitalised and without the definite article, suggesting that it has become its name rather than just a description.

    “Are station boxes planned for any of the Crossrail 2 stations?”
    The Crossrail 2 information specifically states that Clapham Junction, Balham/Tooting, Victoria, Angel and Euston would be built as boxes. The construction site at Wimbledon look like that method would be used there too. Some of these boxes would only be for the booking halls and not the platforms (e.g Balham, Euston, Angel). One of the advantages given for Balham over Tooting is that the ground conditions at the latter require a much bigger box, as tunnelling is more difficult, and hence more digging, and surface level disruption over a wider area.

  38. timbeau says:

    “referred to in official notices ”
    Should have amplified – for example “Because of road works, buses 211 and 507 will be diverted and not serve the stop in Cab Road on the 32nd Octember 2015”

  39. Greg Tingey says:

    As discussed last night – it has to be Balham.
    Apparently the geology @ Tooting is “orrible” – to the point of freezing the ground all around the box volume, before you start digging – & at least three different ground types, once you’ve got past the surface layer.

  40. Anonyminibus says:

    Will taxis be allowed back to Eastbourne Terrace when it is finished ? I can’t see that the sort of people who use taxis will want to walk all the way from crossrail to Bishops Bridge.

    I’m also intrigued as to how they are going to cope with terminating trains at Paddington without causing delays. It has been said that the sidings will be cleared for passengers, but that is still going to be a problem if the train is not required to go straight back out again.

  41. Pedantic of Purley says:


    I checked the Victoria Crossrail 2 factsheet to see that yes! it specifically mentions a station box. That seems to require a lot of above ground demolition though.

    I suppose the logic it that it is not that high rise and the replacement oversite delopment will worth considerably more in this prime site.

  42. ngh says:

    Re Timbeau and PoP,

    Wimbledon Station “Box” – The overhead contact wire above the CR2 platforms is proposed to be approximately level with the existing platform surface level. Hence the “box” is so shallow it probably doesn’t even count as cut and cover as the “roof” is well above ground level let alone deep enough to be a box…

    Victoria – Most of those buildings (except 1 and the occupier of that is moving anyway) will be very tired by the time demolition comes…

  43. timbeau says:

    “I can’t see that the sort of people who use taxis will want to walk all the way from Crossrail to Bishops Bridge.”

    I can’t see that many people on Crossrail would transfer to/from taxis at Paddington anyway. Paddington’s heavy taxi traffic is because it is a terminus on the edge of the central area. But for Crossrail passengers it won’t be a terminus, and they can travel direct to the West End or the City without getting off the train at all.
    The taxis will remain useful for those using the longer-distance services which will continue to terminate at Paddington, plus anyone still using the HEx, and the rank’s current location suits them well enough.

  44. Briantist (in Gigabit internet heaven) says:


    Are station boxes planned for any of the Crossrail 2 stations?

    Doing a Google searrch on the PDFs for CR2 (ie “station box”) you get

    Clapham Junction station “Site A – Would be used to construct a station box, station shaft and a bridge between Crossrail 2 and the existing station. The site includes the existing Network Rail sidings and yard which would be relocated in the northern part of the site. ”

    Angel station “Site A – The site of the Royal Bank of Scotland building
    would be used for station tunnelling works and construction of the station entrance, station box and station shaft. ”

    Tooting and Balham – “As the ground is more difficult for tunnelling at Tooting Broadway, a construction methodology has been developed to minimise the amount of sprayed concrete lined tunnelling required for station construction. This
    leads to a larger station box with more of the station being built using top down construction. Additionally,
    it is likely that the ground (which is wet) would need to be frozen to build the station platform tunnels and cross passages, which also leads to increased space requirements at both of the station worksites. A ground freezing solution would constrain the construction phasing. It also constrains the options for removing the excavated material.
    As the station box would be larger at Tooting Broadway, more excavated material would need to be removed from site by road, resulting in around double the number of lorry movements compared to Balham. Conversely, at Balham, more of the station could be constructed from underground tunnels and the size of the station box can be minimised. This construction
    would be similar to most modern underground stations in London. ”

    Crossrail 2 shafts “Bond Street Incorporated into station box Crossrail Line 1 (post-construction, visualisation)”

    Seven Sisters to New Southgate Route Options – “Site B – This site is required for construction of the station box, station entrance and southern station vent shaft. As a result, the realignment of Station Road and the entrance to Heartlands High School is required.Some station tunnelling works may also be carried out from this site.”

  45. Briantist (in Gigabit internet heaven) says:

    Re the CR2 shaft at Angel on “the site of the Royal Bank of Scotland building
    would be used for station tunnelling works”[1] is deeply ironic to the late Douglas Adams’s fans – it was due to this very building that The Frood was stopped from putting “in the basement, a swimming pool” as “this last plan was stymied thanks to the proximity of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s vaults”. [2]

    [2] “The Frood” By Jem Roberts page 253

  46. Chiswickian says:

    Oh dear another missed opportunity to use the Spanish solution to manage passenger flows efficiently and reduce dwell times (not to mention argy-bargy around the doors and incessant ‘let the passengers off the train first’ PAs). What’s their excuse here?

  47. timbeau says:

    “Crossrail 2 shafts “Bond Street Incorporated into station box Crossrail Line 1”

    Strange – is this another deviation from the originally-proposed route?

  48. marek says:

    ” is it Departures Road or the departures road?”

    The 25″ OS map of a century ago clearly shows the cab road, which is equally clearly without a name. It might formally have acquired a name later, but there is no very obvious reason why it should have done – it was pretty clearly part of the fabric of the station rather than a public highway, even though you could if you really wanted use it to bypass Eastbourne Terrace proper.

  49. Edgepedia says:

    On this 1888 map the road parallel to Eastbourne Terrance is marked as APPROACH ROAD.

    Anonyminibus @09:32
    If the sidings at Paddington are cleared for passengers then there needs to be a platform with access to the street – if only in case of fire.

  50. Edgepedia says:

    The Crossrail sidings for the Paddington terminators will be on the surface near Westborne Park. (Found eventually here)

  51. Fandroid says:

    Further to the subject of preventing uplift. In the past engineers have occasionally not recognised that it takes an amazingly small amount of water to displace a large and extremely heavy concrete box. And when they have moved, it’s an almighty headache trying to get them back to where they should be. If the ground is waterlogged, then the risk of uplift is obvious. In dry ground it is not so obvious at all, but is potentially still there. If that dry ground is formed of a watertight material (eg London Clay) then just a few hundred litres of water coming in from above (rain, or leaking pipes and drains) can fill the space between ground and structure and Bob’s your uncle. The key risk is the total depth of water around the box. Archimedes rules here. It doesn’t matter how much water there is, just how much unbalanced hydrostatic pressure is acting beneath the box floor.

    The long-term movement of soil upward (heave) should be relatively easy to counter, as the sides will move in as well, so friction will help resist that, as well as a few anchors.

  52. Ian says:

    A couple of minor typos in a sentence towards the end of the article:

    “Most of it is about training the staff to be *familiar* with all the services offered *at* the station and not to restrict them to their own area of responsibility.”

  53. timbeau says:

    “it takes an amazingly small amount of water to displace a large and extremely heavy concrete box. ”

    Of course, this can be used to advantage, as in the construction of the Mulberry harbours in WW2

  54. Walthamstow Writer says:

    Interesting article – nice to see progress given I’ve been to the site before but only views from up top, not down below.

    A few questions.

    1. Are the Multi Purpose Gantries a Crossrail invention or an idea borrowed from other projects? It certainly looks like some clever thinking has been deployed as to how to be very productive.

    2. Will Network Rail really own the Crossrail tunnels? I thought these were going to be TfL’s demise (as with the ELL between NXG and Dalston Junction West).

    3. Any clues as to how empty stock movement from Paddington Low Level to Paddington sidings is going to be signalled in the interim period before CR passenger services run through to the GWML?

    I am surprised that someone is considering an unified staffing structure at Paddington. The argument for Liverpool St is that TfL is now the majority train operator within the overall complex. That won’t be the case really with Paddington given HEX and GWR and I’d argue long distance / premium fare services are not TfL’s competence anyway. I’d be astonished if First Group and HAL were content to have a pool of TfL / LU staff fronting their services at Paddington.

  55. Pedantic of Purley says:

    A few answers:

    1. Multi-purpose gantries are certainly not new. They were used on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. I don’t think anyone has used them to quite the same extent that Crossrail will. Many of the processing seem to be done on the basis that only by adopting production line techniques can you do as much as you need to in the time available.

    2. I never said Network Rail would own the Crossrail tunnels. I said they would be in charge of them. But I was told they would become Network Rail’s responsibility. I took that to mean that Crossrail owned the asset but it was up to Network Rail to look after it. I presume this is the same as the signalling in the tunnel which will be controlled from Romford ROC (Network Rail).

    3. Surely Paddington station to Paddington sidings will be independent of the main line? Even if not it needs to be signalled using TBTC because they are intending to deploy auto-reverse without any input from the driver and neither ATP nor ERTMS has that capability.

    I only wrote “it will be interesting to see if TfL has a scheme similar to their in-house One Liverpool Street concept” to raise the issue. They may not go the full way such as they apparently do at Liverpool Street but I would be surprised if there is not some integration between the TfL elements at the very least.

  56. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ PoP – thanks for the answers.

    On the tunnels I’d honestly be surprised if Network Rail were to maintain them. No issue about signalling trains through them but I suspect TfL would tender out the various aspects of maintenance and align with whatever warranties are in place. That would mirror the ELL approach. I guess I was applying different meanings to terminology about ownership vs operation vs upkeep / maintenance vs “in charge of”.

    I asked about the sidings issue because I really don’t know what the track layout will be and whether it is entirely separate from where GWR’s suburban trains will run or if they need to share tracks as far as the sidings. I just keep musing about how Crossrail are going to manage their train fleet when their depots will, in theory, be cut off from the initial stage of tunnel operation. I suspect the tunnels *won’t* be cut off but you then get into the interesting question of how train movements are managed over tracks not authorised for passenger services and where full pre-Crossrail services still have to operate.

    Fair enough about “one Paddington” – you were just musing rather than saying it would happen.

  57. Mike says:

    WW: plans showing track layouts are on the Crossrail website in the “Near you” bit. The Westbourne Park plan shows the turnback sidings between the Royal Oak tunnel portal and the junction with the GWML, so Crossrail Paddington terminators will be separated from GW trains.

  58. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Mike – thank you. That makes life much clearer. Clearly Crossrail can signal right through to those sidings with no impact on the rest of the area in the short term. Still leaves a question about how trains get between OOC depot and the portal to take up / leave service. It also means we’ll have the interesting short term prospect of Crossrail trains passing one another on parallel tracks but some only reaching Padd (high level) and others reaching Padd (low level).

  59. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Walthamstow Writer,

    Still leaves a question about how trains get between OOC depot and the portal to take up / leave service.

    Although not totally clear what the track layout is on those maps that Mike referred to (and they may have been superseded anyway) there clearly are connections so I don’t really understand the question. The depot will be used from May 2018 for when Crossrail takes over Heathrow Express Connect so for trains to the portal they will simply use the connection to get to it (running out-of-service of course) rather than continuing to Paddington Main Line station.

  60. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ PoP – my understanding of the phasing of Crossrail’s service starts is that it is connected with the signalling capability across the various interfaces between the core and whatever applies on the GE and GW main lines. Now I may be making it more complicated than it is but I assume that some level of communication between the core and the main lines will be necessary to allow safe passage of trains even if they are oos. If you’re saying they’ll be conventionally signalled (for the transfer moves) for the 6-12 month periods when no passenger services run from the core to the GE and GW then fine. (I know GE will remain conventionally signalled so is less controversial). The other question is the number of paths to get oos stock from depots to / from the core (assuming Ilford or OOC provide trains for the Paddington to Abbey Wood service). I have only managed 2 journeys on TfL rail to / from Ilford that have not been delayed by trains going into or leaving Ilford depot. We have also had regular comments from a poster here about the likely woes of handling stock moves to / from Ilford. I also keep reading that the GWML is not overflowing with spare capacity either.

    Looking in from the outside it looks like a complex situation of trying to run the Shenfield service into Liv St, cope with all of AGA’s trains, all of the light runs needed for peak trains *and* have extra Crossrail oos trains running from Ilford into the core to provide the Paddington – Abbey Wood service. I am less familiar with the scale of moves in West London to / from OOC. I know there are sidings at Plumstead but I don’t believe they constitute a depot to the same scale as either Ilford or OOC. As I say I am just musing about how that interim number of months is coped with when the core runs as an “independent” service and how it is resourced and how trains transferring from depots are signalled to / from the core.

  61. RichardB says:

    @WW – would it be impossible to excavate a dive under to provide access to Ilford depot? Depot movements ( or rather returns) must already be a constraint and I am puzzled that Network Rail has not taken advantage of Crossrail to address this. It seems a no brainer as you want to avoid flat junctions in main lines so close to London.

  62. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Richard B – I’m no expert on that route but I think there simply isn’t the land to do it. The route is built up or built over between the depot and the station / flyover. There is a large shopping centre in Ilford which would probably be the ideal area to try to improve matters but it’s not going anywhere! I just seem to be cursed that the few times I’ve used the route between Ilford and Romford that trains are also stopped or slowed on the approaches or held at Ilford. I must have a dreadful sense of timing. 😉

  63. Anomnibus says:

    @Walthamstow Writer:

    It does seem odd that the likes of Ilford and Stewarts Lane are still where they are given the vast amount of land they take up.

    I’m curious to learn why these sites have never been relocated further out. I can understand the logistical benefits of keeping some trains parked up nearer the termini, but that just needs carriage sidings, not a full-blown depot with serious maintenance facilities.

    Relocating most of Ilford to, say, somewhere near Shenfield seems an obvious move, while the wastelands out near Tottenham could host carriage sidings for the “Anglia” lines, with a satellite depot out beyond the M25.

  64. NickBXN says:

    Back on the engineering of boxes, I was lucky to be shown around Canary Wharf station when it was under construction. The architect likened the engineering to pressing the Queen Mary into the waterlogged mud and holding her down in perpetuity. As one commentator noted above, the box was designed to withstand twisting forces brought on by the hydrological effects of the construction of subsequent towers in varied locations. Even then, the box is not entirely rigid. The tops of those elegant columns that support the centre of the gull-wing profile roof are tipped with metal bearing plates weighing over a tonne each. They allow for some lateral movement between the top of the columns and the roof deck as the box twists over time. It’s amazing how the engineers work all this sort of thing out. Photo looking up from the cavern out of the eastern entrance here

  65. Kentish Paul says:

    NickBXN @ 17:25
    I worked for 5 years on the building of the JLE station at Canary Wharf as an Engineering Surveyor. Despite the station base slab being 3 metres of reinforced concrete it was determined that many piles would be needed to hold the box in place and stop it moving skywards.

    There are many tales to tell of ground movements on the Isle of Dogs not least those caused by tidal movements of the Thames. Try setting out the works when your benchmarks are going up and down. It was accomplished by very careful monitoring of what was happening.

  66. timbeau says:

    “from May 2018 for when Crossrail takes over Heathrow Express”
    Will it? My understanding was that it would take over Heathrow Connect, but not the express.

    [Sorry. Meant Connect. PoP]

  67. Ian J says:

    “Crossrail 2 shafts “Bond Street Incorporated into station box Crossrail Line 1”

    Strange – is this another deviation from the originally-proposed route?

    The consultation leaflet has an illustration of the Bond Street Crossrail 1 station to show what a shaft incorporated into a station box looks like from the outside (essentially invisible). The only central London Crossrail 2 shaft mentioned will be at (the site of) Victoria Coach Station.

  68. RichardH says:

    That Royal Mail sorting office is destined to be replaced by a 250m skyscraper, currently just known as 31 London Street, planning permission dependent of course. The development would include a new Bakerloo ticket hall.
    A similar scenario for the box as for the Canary Wharf one, as just mentioned above.

  69. Greg Tingey says:

    Talking, as we were, about empty stock movements & conflicts with normal services…
    HERE is the West end of Ilford depot.
    There might, just might be room for a flyover here, if you were really careful, but it would be an awfully tight squeeze & difficult to do whilst retaining full normal operation.
    Scanning along to the East end of the depot shows that there really is no prospect there, at all.
    Unless, of course, you are prepared to demolish domestic properties …

  70. Ian J says:

    @RichardH: Thanks for pointing to the sorting office development – more details here and planning documents lodged yesterday here – it’s the same initial developer and architect as the Shard, and like the Shard will have quite an effect on the station – it involves replacing the vehicle ramp into the station with a new low level concourse linking in to the skyscraper as well as the new Bakerloo line entrance.

    I suspect that somewhere in the planning documents is an explanation of what the fate of the Post Office Railway station in the basement will be.

  71. RayK says:

    Following up the planning documents pointed to by Ian J. From this document :-

    ‘1.5. Historic England has carried out an assessment of the Paddington Mail Centre and associated Mail Rail that deemed them not listable (Ref. 14). A Certificate of Immunity from listing is in place until 15th November 2016 (it was renewed in 2011 and again in 2013) in respect of the 1892 Edwardian building and its 1907 extension. EBA has carried out a re-assessment of the significance of the Paddington District Sorting and Post Office in order to provide comments on the redevelopment proposals for the site (Section 9). ‘
    Then in 9.3 :-‘The building is of little technological interest. Its most specialised functions are at the basement level and below, where it connects via lifts and shafts to the post office railway and via passages
    and conveyors to Paddington Station. The section of Mail Rail beneath the former Mail Centre is architecturally functional and technologically derivative rather than innovative. ‘
    Section 10 deals with ‘Other Heritage Assets’.

  72. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @Richard H – that tower at Paddington looks ridiculous and completely out of scale. When are the planning authorities going to get a grip on these wild excesses? Must create concerns at Paddington in terms of transport demand and impacts on services like the Bakerloo line. Where will all the smokers go at Paddington? The access road is the current “smoke zone” du jour.

  73. Alan Griffiths says:

    Re-modelling of Ilford depot was included in the Crossrail Act, at House of Commons Committee stage, as an alternative to a new depot in Romford. The notion that conflicting train movements might be any great problem was exhaustively examined then.
    I’m expecting that the published start dates for Crossrail services are pessimistic.
    If nobody is in a hurry to re-use the present Heathrow Connect trains somewhere else in May 2018, when that service transfers to the Crossrail TOC, maybe
    1) Abbey Wood to Paddington might begin earlier than December 2018, and/or
    2) Shenfield to Paddington might begin earlier than May 2019.
    There are two sets of constraints,
    1) fit out of the central section, testing everything and training drivers
    2) delivery of trains (which might be more flexible than some assume).

  74. Melvyn says:

    The scheme to upgrade Paddington Bakerloo Line entrance seems to build on the example set by Crossrail where surface buildings are demolished a new station built by digging a large open hole which unlike restricted tube stations of the past provide space for escalators and lifts together with better air circulation and natural lighting .

    Paddington Bakerloo Line still has only 2 escalators and a fixed central staircase something which should have been upgraded as part of Crossrail although at least a subway is being built to allow step free access via Crossrail lifts . I presume this new plan will include direct Bakerloo Line lifts from new booking hall ?

    As for removal of ramp to Paddington Station well this was done at Liverpool Street and despite what ” back to the past brigade” say this area around Paddington is rather grotty and will help link up with the recent Paddington Basin development .

    As for way Crossrail is being built a recent video on Londonist site showed a mainline locomotive inside a Crossrail tunnel which is being used to pull concreting train and provides an impressive sight of size these tunnels are compared to small tube tunnels !

  75. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Alan G – surely the May and December dates have been chosen because they coincide with national timetable change dates? I’d argue that the overall working timetable is a massive constraint on Crossrail even for the standalone Paddington – Abbey Wood service. Trains will still have to get from depots to the core along with all the usual train movements for the extant services. I doubt very much that a full public service will launch ahead of the given dates. I think Crossrail will need every single second of time between then and now to get everything to an appropriate state of readiness for the public. That’s not a criticism just a reflection of the reality facing the project and operational teams.

    I could perhaps see some sort of controlled “preview service” operating at weekends or off peak where the constraints of the rush hour may not apply. I expect that would only operate if there was a genuine benefit to the operational preparations or for PR purposes. Obviously there has to be confidence that things won’t break down if you let the public loose – especially in today’s world of instant social media commentary. Carefully crafted reputations can be trashed in minutes.

  76. Ian Sergeant says:


    that tower at Paddington looks ridiculous and completely out of scale

    Renzo Piano’s work on the Shard is good quality. Paddington could really do with a landmark building, and to me this fits the ticket – it hasn’t had one since Brunel’s station. It’s currently “the station named after the bear in the outskirts of Slough” – despite all the offices on Kingdom Street, the Bishop’s Bridge replacement and the new Hammersmith and City line station, it still lacks the ‘wow’ factor of St Pancras and King’s Cross. A landmark building would transform that, and would give the (much needed) access to the Bakerloo Line.

    Where will all the smokers go at Paddington?

    I’m sure they will still travel or work on the railway. This really shouldn’t be a consideration when looking at the plans.

  77. Ian J says:

    @WW: Must create concerns at Paddington in terms of transport demand

    On the other hand, if you are going to build more office/residential/commercial space in central London, right next to a major station that is about to have new platforms added is probably the best place it could go, in transport terms.

    @Ian Sergeant: it still lacks the ‘wow’ factor of St Pancras and King’s Cross

    One problem Paddington has always had is that it doesn’t really have a “front” like St Pancras and King’s Cross as the main entrance faces the side (I realise King’s Cross used to be like that too, and is again now to some extent). The hotel blocks access to the station from Praed Street and passengers are squeezed onto the ramp into the rather strange conical entrance at the side. The proposed scheme sort-of rationalises this entrance to the station a bit, but not as effectively or extensively as the KX or St P or even Liverpool Street rebuilds.

    @RayK: Thanks. I did see bit in one of the documents that implied that they weren’t completely sure where connections to the Mail Rail tunnels were!

  78. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ Ian S – I was musing about the smokers not saying it was a consideration.

    @ both Ians – I am afraid I just don’t get this “must have a landmark” concept. We seem to have been suckered into believing that only monstrous towers and ever creeping privatisation of public space is the only way to develop the city. It doesn’t have to be like this IMO. We need a city that is in sympathy and scale to its surroundings and to its people. If that means fewer towers and less ridiculously designed architecture so much the better. All we are doing is fuelling property developers’ ego trips and building things that people can’t afford to live in or occupy. Eventually the market will bring about a correction and we know what that means.

    I must be forgetting the comments about Crossrail being full within months of opening. No point building new buildings on infrastructure that may be new but overwhelmed and at capacity by the time the buildings are finished. We are just making the situation worse. Call me a luddite and daft if you wish but we really need to change planning and development policy in London. The whole thing is being skewed and leaving us with an inappropriate legacy.

  79. Pedantic of Purley says:

    I hope this won’t deviate into a discussion on what we should and shouldn’t be building in London. Or rather, this won’t deviate into a discussion on what we should and shouldn’t be building in London. It is relevant to transport but is a wider issue that needs to be discussed elsewhere.

  80. Greg Tingey says:

    Re-modelling of Ilford depot was included in the Crossrail Act, at House of Commons Committee stage, as an alternative to a new depot in Romford. The notion that conflicting train movements might be any great problem was exhaustively examined then.
    It would seem that remodelling of Ilford depot is not happening, so now what?
    Given that constructing any dive-under or fly-over will take 2-3 years … um, err ….

  81. Greg,

    There were lots of provisions in the Crossrail Act which gave Crossrail the power to do something without the obligation to do it. Many of those powers were subsequently found not to be needed. It is generally better to include them and not use them rather than exclude them and to keep having to come back with Transport & Works Order Applications which can be time consuming and delay things.

    In the case of the Bakerloo Line Link they did not include the power to build it in the act which, at one stage, was a cause of concern as the delays meant there was a question mark as to whether it would be open on time.

    There is a potential issue as to when the powers lapse. I can’t be bothered to search through the act to find out what is said about this but you can be almost sure that the powers will expire. In fact they may have already expired if work has not commenced within a certain time period after Royal Assent of the act.

  82. Anonymous says:


    I’ve often wondered if the middle stairwell between the escalators at the Bakerloo staion hasn’t been ‘escalatorized’ yet becase for most of the day there is an equal amount of in/out passengers using it? There doesent seem to be a tidal flow in quite the same way as many stations.

  83. Anomnibus says:

    @Walthamstow Writer:

    The thinking is that the Great Western Main Line has a lot more headroom for commuter expansion than Crossrail’s eastern branches.
    [Snipped for brevity. LBM]
    [and because I decided that this wouldn’t deviate into a discussion on what we should and shouldn’t be building in London PoP]

  84. Alfie1014 says:

    Greg; I believe that some re-modelling of Ilford depot is still on the cards as there are some ‘blockades’ planned in the near future which will restrict access, (one reason why Aldersbrook carriage sidings on the up side just west of Ilford flyover have been re-instated for stabling recently). The main reason why a flyover/diveunder will be almost impossible to construct at the London end of the depot as shown in the map highlighted earlier is that Bombardier are building a new larger ‘building’ on the site for the new trains, see; They will also take over the existing ‘A’ shed as well.

    That said Abellio Greater Anglia are still the much larger user of the site with all of it’s nearly 200 emus being maintained there. Unless the new franchise includes replacement facilities elsewhere on the route that is unlikely to change. A quick look at Real Times Trains shows TfL Rail berthing just three trains at Ilford between the peaks whereas AGA berth 10.

  85. Alan Griffiths says:

    Greg Tingey 17 December 2015 at 10:00

    ” It would seem that remodelling of Ilford depot is not happening, so now what? ”

    I don’t think that’s what the Crossrail website, or the neighbours, say.

  86. Ian Sergeant says:


    I must be forgetting the comments about Crossrail being full within months of opening.

    You’re not, and neither am I. With 31 London Street, the idea is to create 200 homes and a lot of office space. Many of the workers – as with the offices on Kingdom Street – would come in via the Great Western. Many others would use the Bakerloo rather than Crossrail as it would land them at work rather than five minutes from work – and could well be coming from the north-west. The pressure this creates on Crossrail – people from East, South-East and Central London working in Paddington – is going to be small.

  87. RayK says:

    Alan Griffiths & Greg Tingey
    Are you both referring to the same ‘remodelling’?
    It seems to me that remodelling of the depot is undoubtedly taking place and that what we are unclear about is remodelling of the track access to/from the depot.

  88. Greg Tingey says:

    I was referring to external access remodelling, so that moves to/from the depot are not conflicting with the Down slow/electric lines, which would require a grade separation of some sort.
    It certainly used to be that the whole depot was accessed by only a simple double turnout @ the W end & a single-lead at the E end (ignoring crossovers).
    For short-term during-the-day “holding” refreshing Aldersbrook sidings seems a very sensible move.

  89. Greg Tingey says:

    Photos from Ian Visits at Paddington

  90. The seventh page of this pdf shows the Crossrail 1 and SubSurface Lines connexions in full colour. The rest of the document shows the Paddington Quarter development, and Paddington’s history.

  91. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ LBM – interesting. If I’ve followed the plans properly (a tad hard as they don’t scale up very well) then they’re effectively knocking the back out of the LU Bakerloo Line ticket hall and opening it out.

    [ finds planning application (ref 16/09050/FULL (in case anyone else wants to look at 581 documents (!) ) and looks at proper plans]

    This will give a new gateline opening out into a concourse level under the “glass cube”. That concourse then has a number of shops plus exits to street level and out into the NR mainline concourse. There is also a new set of stairs from the Bakerloo Line that go up to a new intermediate concourse with 2 escalators and stairs into the new expanded Bakerloo ticket hall with its new gateline. There is also step free access from Bakerloo platform level seemingly all the way to street level which looks a tad interesting. So quite a scheme in terms of its impact on the Bakerloo line part of LU’s Paddington station.

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